December 7, 2022


Born to perform

Maserati’s MC20: A powerful engine in a new supercar

6 min read


The Maserati title tends to conjure up visuals of very low-slung Italian coupes, but in reality the storied model hasn’t presented up a suitable sporting activities car or truck since the minimal-output MC12 debuted back again in 2004. The corporation built its debut as an automaker in 1926 with the Tipo 26 race car or truck and shortly went on to come to be a formidable competitor in motorsport, but the making sure a long time had been tumultuous, and the business altered fingers a variety of moments ahead of Fiat took ownership in 1993 and then handed the reins about to the Fiat-owned Ferrari model. 

Maserati would ostensibly come to be Ferrari’s luxurious division when it took full possession of the corporation in 1999, and the years considering the fact that have found Ferrari supply much more traditional variations of its substantial-winding powerplants to Maserati for use in motor vehicles like the Ghibli sedan and Levante sport-utility. But less than the bigger Fiat-Chrysler banner, Maserati’s designs also inherited loads of hand-me-down hardware from somewhere else in the group’s portfolio, and glacially-paced development initiatives have additional to the brand’s recent struggles to uphold its racy status. 

The introduction of the MC20 marks an solely new chapter for Maserati, which is now aspect of Stellantis. A correct cleanse-sheet structure, the two-seater is underpinned by an all-new carbon fiber monocoque chassis that was made in-dwelling and is created in Modena, Italy. Double wishbone-design and style suspension setups at the entrance and rear of the car website link up with the chassis by way of aluminum subframes, and the streamlined carbon fiber bodywork and aerodynamics occur as a result of extra than two thousand hours of screening in the Dallara Wind Tunnel, along with considerable computational fluid dynamics simulation. 

A unique new ‘Nettuno’ engine powers this $212,000 Maserati
The MC20. Maserati

The Nettuno motor

The powertrain is wherever things get started to get really interesting. Determination comes from Maserati’s 3.-liter, twin-turbocharged “Nettuno” V6 engine, an all-new electric power plant that was also designed in-household at Maserati. The new electrical power plant offers on-demand from customers twin-combustion technologies cribbed from Formula 1, which places a combustion chamber among the central spark plug and the traditional combustion chamber to provide a more exact burn off, in turn enhancing the engine’s efficiency as properly as its performance. 

[Related: Maserati’s new luxury SUV transforms from hot rod to off-roading beast]

The consequence is a single of the most electric power-dense engines in the automotive industry right now, and peak output numbers of 621 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque gives this 3,330-pound coupe a very best-in-course electricity-to-fat ratio amongst rivals that hail from manufacturers like Lamborghini, Porsche, and McLaren. That bodes perfectly for the below and now, but Maserati also wisely took the long watch when building the MC20 platform, which was designed from the outset to aid an all-electric variant. The EV is because of to hit the streets in a couple years’ time. 

inside a Maserati supercar
Within the MC20. Maserati

Guiding the wheel

Settling in at the helm, it is straight away clear that the MC20 is focusing on people searching for a quick grand-touring sporting activities automobile like the 911 Turbo S instead than a stripped-down track toy. Gone is the Maserati inside switchgear of past versions that could often trace its origins back again to cars like the Dodge Durango. As an alternative, the MC20 offers a wholly bespoke cockpit swathed in carbon fiber, alcantara, and brushed steel. 

A significant resolution 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster presents the requisite actual-time info and functionality information and facts, when a 10.25-inch touchscreen show with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle compatibility handles the infotainment responsibilities with sharp graphics and snappy reaction. Together the center tunnel are controls for drive modes (Soaked, GT, Sport, and Corsa), as nicely as suspension stiffness, gearbox modes, the windows and door locks, and actual physical controls for the audio technique. In the meantime the flat-bottomed steering wheel properties the ignition and launch management buttons as properly as cruise command and media changes. The structure is uncluttered, intuitively made, and posh. And compared with most mid-engine sportscars, the MC20 is shockingly straightforward to get in and out of—thanks to the monocoque’s fairly svelte aspect sills, the butterfly doorways, and the generous sum of headroom for that. 

[Related: Anyone can drive a supercar, but truly tapping its potential is another matter]

The engine arrives to lifetime with a lively growl that immediately retreats into the qualifications. Maserati has carried out a high-quality task of building this new V6 seem effectively unique but, like several engines of these days, its individuality is masked by the inherent muffling influence of its turbochargers. Switching from GT mode more than to possibly Sport or Corsa mode will open up up an exhaust valve for much more aural drama, but it’s nevertheless a small much too peaceful for our preferences. Even on boil, street and wind sound will usually overpower the engine’s soundtrack, which can make it difficult to nail upshift timing when manually handling the cogs with the paddles. 

Thankfully the twin-clutch transmission is effectively-programmed more than enough to be remaining on your own in most conditions. Left in GT mode, it operates in the history to quietly deliver near-seamless shifts in normal driving conditions. This also places the suspension dampers in their most compliant location, which is sportscar-business but nevertheless agreeable for typical use even on the pockmarked streets of Los Angeles. 

A unique new ‘Nettuno’ engine powers this $212,000 Maserati
The Maserati MC20. Bradley Iger

A electronic rear-see mirror 

The MC20’s day to day usability is also significantly bolstered by its electronic rear-perspective mirror, which displays a authentic-time feed from a digital camera mounted on the rear deck of the car. Traditional rear-view mirrors in mid-motor cars commonly offer you a glimpse of daylight out the rear glass and not substantially else, but the electronic mirror’s unencumbered perspective of the outdoors world behind you makes it easy to check your blind spots when jockeying for posture on LA’s ruthless freeway systems. In addition, the MC20 even boasts two storage compartments—one at the nose of the car, and one more, bigger space just driving the engine bay at the rear. It is pretty much sensible! 

Of class it really should come as no shock that the MC20 truly shines out on the twisting tarmac that drapes the Angeles National Forest about an hour north-east of downtown. Surefooted harmony, self-confidence-inspiring halting electrical power, and blisteringly quick acceleration are all on the menu, as is precise response from the rapid-ratio steering rack. Specifically created Bridgestone Potenza Activity summer tires offer up a great deal of grip for back again highway blasts without having the trade-off in noise and harshness that monitor-centered rubber typically comes with, but we’d anticipate to see the latter on additional hardcore iterations of the MC20 that are very likely to arrive down the line. 

These quickly, winding stretches of street gave us a opportunity to sample the MC20’s Sport and Corsa modes. The former’s tuning is great for the work (as the identify implies, Corsa is ideal suited for hot lap pacing on a closed program), but we genuinely wish that the MC20 also offered a personalized driving method that authorized would-be proprietors to blend and match the vehicle’s numerous adjustable parameters to their preference. Irrespective, the MC20 is a thrilling dance companion out in the hills and a incredibly civil equipment close to city. But then again, a starting off rate of $212,000 ($256,050 as-analyzed) tends to set some large expectations. 

Fortunately, Maserati also has options that extend further than quarter-million dollar supercars like the MC20. The a short while ago-introduced Grecale sport-utility, for instance, is aimed squarely at Porsche Macan customers. The crossover will arrive packing a large amount of engineering that is showcased in the MC20 (which includes the Nettuno V6 in increased trim amounts), and it will also most likely enjoy a essential job in the brand’s transition to electrified powertrains. 

In the meantime, very well-heeled sportscar prospective buyers who are seeking to savor the second though also steering very clear of the standard suspects would be wise to hold the MC20 on their shorter record.  


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